Looking Forward to 2018
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Looking Forward to 2018

It’s hard to believe SERVE 2017 is behind us and the planning for SERVE 2018 is under way! We are excited to unveil the theme for SERVE 2018, Love God – Love the World, in this issue of the Youth Unlimited Magazine. In Luke 4:18-19 it says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Through our SERVE sites next summer, we long with great anticipation to see students… Read More

Pray Like it Depends on God
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Pray Like it Depends on God

The following is an excerpt from our summer magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. I’ve heard the saying, “You work like it depends on you and you pray like it depends on God.” I’m not sure about the theology of that statement, but it sure does reflect the past nine months of activity for Youth Unlimited. The Youth Unlimited staff and our 28 SERVE teams are in full preparation mode for SERVE 2017. 1,500 students and leaders will converge at 28 host churches to serve their communities on behalf of God and that local church. Throughout their week, students will… Read More

The Battle is His
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The Battle is His

The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.  I will never forget my first year of full-time youth ministry. It started in 1996, 20 years ago, with Youth For Christ! There were many first time experiences like leading a student through the plan of salvation and a summer youth group trip to Colorado with two students released to me from the local juvenile detention center. I look back on these years and have so many great memories and emotions, and 2015 was no exception. This past summer, while visiting many of Youth Unlimited’s… Read More

Join the Ripple
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Join the Ripple

Most people can point to a moment of impact that changed their lives forever. That moment of impact is the moment people begin to live, interact, see the world and believe differently. It’s not uncommon for an individual’s moment of impact to form a ripple effect, and further impact the lives of others, who then impact the lives of others and so on. At Youth Unlimited, we’re continuously and gratefully amazed by the impact made for and by Christ at experiences like Serve and Live It. We’re blessed to have seen first-hand at these events the impactful moments in individual… Read More

Students | Churches | Faith-Forming Experiences
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Students | Churches | Faith-Forming Experiences

The following is an excerpt from the Youth Unlimited Fall Magazine. To read more, click here. Wow… where did that year go? With each passing year, I am forced to admit that my parents were right when they said, “the older you get the faster time flies”! As we step into a new church ministry year, I’m praying God has refueled your passion for him and the students in your church and community! It is critical you have those in the right order—passion for Christ and then a passion for students. If those are in the reverse order, you will be ministering to students from your… Read More

The Larger Story
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The Larger Story

43,750 – this number has a story to tell – actually many stories - but they are only the introduction to a much larger story. These stories include themes of sacrifice, selflessness, inspiration, life change, pain, understanding, discipleship, faith, friends, fun, brokenness, challenge and more. These stories will give some hope, others joy and others peace! So what does this number represent? It represents a small sampling of stories from Christian Reformed youth leading the Church, bringing redemption, restoration and the love of Jesus to people across Canada and the United States.… Read More

Thoughts For Your Ministry
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Thoughts For Your Ministry

In a recent issue of a Youth Ministry magazine, I read Ned Erickson’s description of a relational (youth ministry) economy… A round of Frisbee golf = a month of meetings A milkshake out = a month of meetings A day hike, camping trip or a weekend retreat = a semester of meetings A weeklong camp or mission trip = a year of meetings Over the years, I’ve heard many youth leaders place a very high value on taking students away from home as part of their strategic plan to help students meet Jesus and become a more mature disciple of Christ. As someone who has spent his… Read More

Dependence on God
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Dependence on God

Sold. Our house had sold! My family and I were looking forward to moving closer to church and school, but there was a problem. We were struggling to find a house that fit our needs (and wants). We walked out the door of our home for the last time knowing we had three months to find something before we had to be out of our short-term rental. My wife and I were both well aware of how little time that was. God had plans however, and two weeks later he made available the home we had been praying for, and two months later we moved in. It was answered prayer and we knew this was where we were… Read More

Who We Are in Christ
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Who We Are in Christ

For more than a year the staff of Youth Unlimited prepared for this past summer. We prayed that students who attended a Youth Unlimited experience would come to understand that what we do grows out of who we are in Christ, and that being in Christ changes us and our actions.   Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then… Read More

Share Your Story
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Share Your Story

It was 4:00 PM, and I found myself sitting in the Arby’s on South Washington, my heart pounding, my hands shaky and my mouth dry as a cork. For the first time in my life I was inviting a student to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.   If you were raised as I was, sharing your faith story or testimony with someone may be a foreign idea—something only done by missionaries. In 1 Peter 3:15 it says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do… Read More